Nintendo Switch May Have Run On Android, But Cyanogen ‘Told Them To Stick It’

Nintendo Switch May Have Run On Android, But Cyanogen ‘Told Them To Stick It’

Probably no one even thought in their dreams that the Nintendo Switch would run on Android, and the Japanese gaming company even approached Cyanogen about it. However, Cyanogen refused (yes, you read that right). Cyanogen, if you remember, was one of the most ambitious startups that originated from the third-party Android community, but it has now faded.

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 Cyanogen refused to be associated with Nintendo Switch

According to recent tweets from Kirk McMaster, the outspoken executive chairman of Cyanogen, the Japanese gaming giant requested to partner with his once-esteemed startup to create an operating system for a certain portable console, but he refused.

McMaster tweeted, “In the early days of Cyanogen, Nintendo wanted us to create an OS for a certain portable. I told them to stick it.”

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The tweet has now been edited to sound less harsh, but he probably forgot that he wrote it on the Internet – once written, it can never be taken back. McMaster was talking about a “certain portable” in his tweet, and we know now that the Switch is Nintendo’s new portable console.

Later, when a user named Romain Guy tweeted that it would have been awesome to see Android on the Switch, the Cyanogen CEO tweeted back saying, “Was under consideration. Switch is mostly custom kernel. They used bits of android.”

The refusal by the Cyanogen CEO not to create the OS is understandable to an extent because the gaming giant would have needed some really heavy customizations to the Android-based OS. In the end, the Nintendo Switch used a custom kernel and a few parts of Android. Using bits of Android is not exactly shocking, as they are used by an operating system that runs on smartphones, notes SlashGear.

An opportunity missed

The Nintendo Switch is doing great in terms of sales now. It would have been interesting to see how it would have turned out if the Japanese gaming company had gotten it to run any version of the Android OS. It is also interesting to imagine where the once-popular startup Cyanogen would be standing today if it had not refused that partnership and created an operating system to run Android on the Nintendo Switch.

We may never get answers to these questions, as the executive chairman of Cyanogen has now almost deleted his tweet, and the Japanese console maker has not commented on the matter yet. But it will surely go down in the history books as an opportunity missed by Cyanogen.

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Aman is MBA (Finance) with an experience on both Marketing and Finance side. He has worked as a Risk Analyst for AIR Worldwide, and is currently leading VeRa FinServ, a Financial Research firm. Favorite pastimes include watching science fiction movies, reviewing tech gadgets, playing PC games and cricket. - Email him at
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